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Morten Veland (Sirenia)

Interview with Morten Veland from Sirenia
by Tuoksu Holopainen at 02 August 2013, 4:26 PM

In the wake of releasing "Perils of The Deep Blue", Morten Veland, the one-man instrumentalist behind Symphonic Metal effort SIRENIA, spoke to Metal Temple’s Tuoksu Holopainen about the diversity in his new work, the inspirations that go into making it come to fruition, and also of his side project MORTEMIA and his old band TRISTANIA.

Hello Morten, thanks for being here today. So, Sirenia will soon be releasing the new album "Perils of The Deep Blue".  Can you tell us more about the recoding process and the personnel?  You played all the instruments as usual, right?

Yeah that's correct, I played all the instruments on the album and I recorded most of it in my own studios here in Norway as I have been doing for the last four albums or so.  The majority has been recorded here in my own studios, and as usual we also went by Sound Suite in Marseille to record the choirs there and I also recorded some acoustic guitars and stuff. As for the mixing, the mastering was done in Dub studios in Oslo, by Endre Kirkesola. I've been working with Endre on the album and I think it went really well. This time I really wanted to make a Sirenia album that was different from the previous ones. I wanted a really powerful album and he's got that kind of sound we were looking for, so I thought he would be the right guy to mix the new album and I really think he did a great job.

I have already listened to album, and it sounds amazing and very different from anything Sirenia has ever done, indeed. How do you describe this change?

In this new album we have maybe gone a little bit back to our roots again. When I started writing material for this album, I was pretty much feeling like writing material more or less in the same style as the previous Sirenia album. Somewhere along the way however, I got the feeling that I was repeating myself a bit and that I didn't get that excitement that I needed about the material. So I felt it was time to do some changes with the musical concept of the last albums and put a lot of focus on the melody and the female vocals. I've been kind of  writing shorter songs with a simpler structures than in the past and in this new album I wanted to go back to writing longer songs again and bringing back more complex arrangements: more power and diversity as well as  more extreme vocals and try to make a very powerful and bombastic album. I think also that I've been able to improve the performance on the album and Ailyn has also been working very hard on her voice to try to improve her singing and bring new stuff to the table. Now she's doing more variations with her voice, singing in different styles, singing with more power and emotion. I think that the album is quite different and that Sirenia has improved a lot.

I personally agree, I think this is the best Sirenia album to date. Was there any special inspiration behind the concept of album?

It's not a concept album, so to speak. All the songs on the album are based on individual stories and I was just stable to write material as I always do. I always compose a lot of stuff and in the end I have to decide on which material is the best and the strongest. I just kind of tried to pick a  lot of varied material. I tried to make the 11 songs different and to have their own unique sound and style. It has always been important for us to focus on variation. I feel very happy with the album now that it's finally finished and I can sit down and listen to the final result and I think I made the right choice.

You have also released a music video for the first single "Seven Widows Weep". It seems quite different too.

Yeah we did the music video in Serbia with guys that I've known for some years now. The company is called Icode and we have also worked with them on our two first Sirenia videos and a video for my solo project Mortemia. So the new Sirenia video is actually the fourth video I'm making with them. I think they really did a great job with the video. They took the story and everything and just made a video that fits perfectly with the song and the atmosphere as well as  the story in the lyrics. We went  on to do the shooting and we shot everything in one day. We started early we were working late, afterwards they had all the actors during the shooting  then  the post production afterwards and putting everything together. So yeah,  we're really happy and I think the video fits the song perfectly.

The video is perfectly-fitting for the song indeed. Very nice-looking as well. So, do you have any favorite track in "Perils of The Deep Blue"?

I really like all of them but I think "Seven Widows Weep", the first single, is a great song and it has all of the technical Sirenia elements, more or less, so if I had to pick one song to kind of represent the whole album it would be that one. I also think that the song we did in Norwegian "Ditt Endelikt" is also a great song. It sounds very different and quite unique that now when I listen to it I can't believe it's actually Sirenia \[laughs]. All songs in the album are special to me but if I had to pick two songs, it would be those two.

I would personally pick "Seven Widows Weep" too, as it is now my favorite Sirenia song. So, we all know you were the co-founder and at some point to main songwriter for Tristania, which was one of my favorite bands in that era. Are you still in contact with them?

I still meet their original drummer Kenneth Olsson, I see him every now and then, the bass player as well, but you know, it's very seldom when I meet these guys. We're all busy with our different things..

Have you listened to their new album "Darkest White" ? It has just been released.

No I haven't listened to it. To be honest I haven't listened to their music in a very long time so I am not sure how they sound these days. I don't even know who's still in the band (laughs). I have absolutely no idea what they're playing these days.

(I laughed here too) So, Vibeke Stene, the original vocalist of Tristania has recently revealed on her facebook page that she's coming back to the metal scene. Is there any chance to collaborate with her in the future?

(laughs) If there's anything I know is that it's not something that will happen as far as I know. I haven't spoken to her since 2001 or something like that.. I think that (laughs) it's not collaboration that is likely to happen.

So, do you have any plans for Mortemia in the future?

Yeah right now there's not so much happening with Mortemia, I have been writing some new stuff, I had some songs ready and many ideas, but at this moment I don't have any specific plans. Maybe in the future when I have some more time available, I might sit down and make another Mortemia album, but I think right now it won't happen. I'll just focus on Sirenia. I don't know, maybe later this year if I get some more time I'll look at the possibilities to put together a new album for Mortemia as well.

Any tour dates announced?

Well, we will start this autumn. We are booking shows at the moment and we will announce them as soon as they're confirmed. We'll start touring again after the summer festivals, so maybe in September/Ocboter.

Great. So, that's about it. Thank you so much for your time. Do you have anything to add?

I would like to say thank you to all our fans and I hope to see you one time on tour.

See you!


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